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Retinol-Binding Protein 4 Activates STRA6 Provoking Pancreatic β Cell Dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes

posted on 16.11.2020, 18:47 by Ada Admin, Rong Huang, Xinxiu Bai, Xueyan Li, Xiaohui Wang, Lina Zhao
Pancreatic β cell dysfunction plays a decisive role in progression of type 2 diabetes. Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) is a prominent adipokine in type 2 diabetes while its effect on β cell function remains elusive and the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we found that elevated circulating RBP4 levels were inversely correlated with pancreatic β cell function in db/db mice across different glycemic stages. RBP4 directly suppressed glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in primary isolated islets and INS-1E cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. RBP4-transgenic overexpressing mice (RBP4-Tg) showed a dynamic decrease of GSIS which appeared as early as 8-week-old preceding the impairment of insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Islets isolated from RBP4-Tg mice showed a significant decrease of GSIS. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that the stimulated by retinoic acid 6(STRA6), RBP4’s only known specific membrane receptor, is expressed in β cells and mediates the inhibitory effect of RBP4 on insulin synthesis via JAK2/STAT1/ISL-1 pathway. Moreover, decreasing circulating RBP4 level could effectively restore β cell dysfunction and ameliorate hyperglycemia in db/db mice. These observations revealed a role of RBP4 in pancreatic β cell dysfunction which provided new insight into the diabetogenic effect of RBP4.


This work was supported by the 100 Top Talent Program of Sun Yet-Sen University to L.Z. and by the Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou (20190401343), China to L.Z